Scotland and Scandinavian countries like Norway, Sweden and Finland are amongst my favorite destinations in Europe for adventuring. While the beautiful nature is one reason for it, another is the fact that here it is not illegal to go wildcamping. And in my opinion, wildcamping is one of the most fun aspects of an adventure.
When we hiked the West Highland Way in 2015 or went on a canoeing trip in Sweden or Svalbard in 2017, there were not always campsites available to spend the night on. Not that we cared that much, because we love camping in a setting we can be all alone with a impressive vista.
Wildcamping is often done on multi-day adventures in remote locations. For this reason alone it is very important to have the right, lightweight gear. Here are a few things you can not go without.
Shelter: tent, hammock or bivy
Which one to pick is often to the taste of the adventurer. They all have their merits. A tent is advised for those who love a bit more comfort. A bivy on the other hand is super lightweight and offers nothing but a roof while you sleep in nature, literally. A third option may be a hammock, but as you can guess, this only works if you are hiking or canoeing in a forested area.
How good you will sleep while wildcamping may depend on your sleeping bag. Don´t go cheap on this! Decide on the destinations you will use it and what temperatures you may encounter during the night.
The sleeping mat is what will insulate you from the cold ground. I always opted for a self-inflated Thermarest as they are superlight and not too bulky.
First aid kit
No adventurer should set out without bringing a first aid kit. This can literally save your life. Make sure it includes a tick remover as well.
Stove and food
When it comes to basic essentials, you can´t go without food. I have been using the MSR Superfly stove for years now and couldn´t be more happy with it. It is shocking how light it is (130g). For food I often go for freeze-dry foods as they take no weight or space. You just add boiling water and you´ve got yourself a meal.
Water bottle / purification
Some people go for a camelback, others go for a drinking bottle. Depending on the destination you will have to purify the water you find. This can be done by boiling or adding tablets. Since tablets give a bad taste and boiling water to purify ends you up with hot water that needs to cool down, I decided to try out the LifeStraw for drinking and boiling for cooking.
When I travel in the outdoors I always bring my firesteel instead of matches or lighter. Lighters run out and matches get wet. A firesteel is the most reliable item to make a fire.
Not the most fun item to bring with you, but if you are wildcamping, you will have to do number two at some point. Respecting the outdoors means leaving no trace. Bury your waste and if possible bring or burn your toiletpaper.
Cooking ware and sponge
To prepare your meals you will need a decent cooking set. Some sets include a pot, pan and even plates, without taking too much space. Afterwards, there won´t be a washing machine available so doing dishes is by hand. My tip: bring a sponge.
If you are spending summer in the Nordic destinations, daylight won´t be a problem. But in other cases it might be useful to bring a head torch if you go wildcamping. You never now if you need to pee during the night.